Spinning My Wheels

I feel like I’m spinning my wheels in thick mud here. I know that my financial situation is a complete disaster. COMPLETE. And yet, it feels like there is nothing I can do about it.

When I look at the amount that I have to pay every month on bills it starts to feel very obvious that I hardly have enough to pay the minimums, save money each month, eat, and then enjoy life a little.

After sitting down and writing up a budget for the next month it looks like I’ll have about $10/day to spend on food and $14/day for extraneous items (pet food, toiletries, ect).

I keep thinking about how I need to buy a vacuum cleaner so badly. I’m slacking once again (still) on tutoring. Mainly because while I enjoy the students most of the time, I really don’t like the organization so much. I hate the pay decreases and how they have changed the system. I do like the extra money I get but I really don’t feel that I’m getting paid enough for my time or expertise.

I need to discuss a raise with my boss, I know that Nick got one after he had been around for a year. I’ve been here for a year now and thus far I’ve heard nothing about getting one. My paycheck wasn’t any different last month to this month, we’ll see if it goes up in February. If it doesn’t I’ll go talk to the boss-man.

I keep thinking about $10/day for food. Theoretically this isn’t that hard during the week:

1) $1 for breakfast (tea + bread/yogurt)
2) $5-6 for lunch
3) $2-3 for dinner (chili, soup, ect)

Things I would like to start doing:

* Stop drinking/ordering sodas — if I must, buy generic Dr Pepper.
* Stop eating out for dinner. Period.
* No more eating out for dinner like I’ve been doing lately.
* No more Starbucks.

When if comes to the weekends and my visits to Cpt. Baseball’s place I need to keep the food in moderation as well. Perhaps I should tell him about my plan for $10/day and see if between the two of us we could do that as well. With a combined $20/day we could probably make some decent meals.

Last but not least, I’m switching to a cash system. At least for food. What I would LOVE to do is have the $10 I can use that day in my wallet and I can chose to spend or not spend it, but I know that will be difficult. Well, in conjunction with Jack’s daycare it might not be impossible. I just need to make sure that everyday I walk out the door with my $20. However, this is unrealistic in that I would ideally buy a week or two weeks worth of groceries at a time that would go towards dinner.

Realistically, I’m paying too much money out in bills. Right now I’m paying nearly $1500/month in bills, utilities and rent. I can only realistically afford about $1000/month. I’d settle right now for $1200/month. What my monthly break-down looks like right now is this:

Bills Rent -695
Student Loan -117
Computer -100
Express -25
Water -40
Electricity -80
Credit Card -350
Limited -25
Cable/Internet -65
Insurance -35
Cell Phone -60

My computer will be paid off in March, so that $100 will be freed up. I also will be paid up at The Limited by then as well. The rent isn’t going to change, neither is the student loan payment, the car insurance, water or electricity.

As for water, I only take showers every other day to save on water — though some days I contemplate only showering from work to really lower this amount. I only flush once a day or when I do a #2 to save water as well. For electricity I try to keep lights off when I’m not using them and I turn off my tv/appliances when I’m away for more than a day. Perhaps I should turn them off the entire time I’m not home. I keep my thermostat at 62 in the winter and 85 in the summer. All of this combined, it will be hard to lower this rate. As for the cell phone, 60 is a variable number as sometimes it is 52 and other times 65 depending on how many calls I made that month. As for car insurance I check every 6 months to find a better rate. As for my credit card, I’m right now paying barely over minimum (350 for 335 minimum). Aside from dropping cable tv at home (to half my cable bill), I don’t see what other things I can do to reduce my outward expenses until my lease is up and I’m able to move in to a less expensive apartment.

The honest to god truth is I need MORE money every month and I need a job that is better than tutoring online. While $10/hour is nothing to snuff at I really need to be making at least $15 to truly make it worth my while and I’m not sure how to do it aside from just waiting it out until I get an adjunct position at the community college in the Summer.

Yes, I just keep complaining, making plans, and then falling into misery. But I’m in dire straights here and this shit needs to come together and fast before I have no parachute to catch me.

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